University of St. Thomas undergraduate students will say their goodbyes and thank-yous to retiring Father Dennis Dease at a celebration that starts at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, on the lower-quadrangle’s John P. Monahan Plaza.

Dease is retiring on June 30 after serving 22 years as St. Thomas’ president.

A committee of students from many campus organizations worked with Campus Life and Residence Life to plan the event.

More than 700 students signed up to participate. They are invited to pick up a T-shirt at the Campus Life office in Room 325, Anderson Student Center, on Monday. If you didn’t sign up beforehand, extra T-shirts will likely be available at the flag pole on the lower quad just prior to the event. All students are welcome to attend and the more T-shirts the better.

The T-shirts say “Father Dease’s Farewell Crew” on the front and “Thank You Father Dease” on the back.  The “Farewell Crew” recalls the “Father Dease Move-In Crew” which for many years helped freshmen move into their residence hall rooms each fall.

Students, with T-shirts or not, are invited to show up at the flag pole at 11:45 a.m. for instructions on how to participate in the show of thanks.

A program on the plaza will start at 12:10 p.m. Following remarks by senior Mike Orth, outgoing president of the Undergraduate Student Government, and sophomore Jessica Algoo, a member of the thank-you committee, Dease will receive a gift from the university’s international students and a blue beech tree and plaque from all the undergraduate students. The tree will be planted soon in the lower quadrangle near the library.

The University of St. Thomas Festival Choir will contribute a rousing thank-you song to the occasion.

A free lunch as well as ice cream and cupcakes will be served on the plaza.

Hundreds of students have shown their gratitude by signing thank-you banners that will hang in the Anderson Student Center atrium.

The weather looks promising that day; if it’s not, the event will be held in the Woulfe Alumni Hall. If you have questions, contact Margaret Cahill of Campus Life at (651) 962-6131.